State leaders must comprehend complexities of border communities

Johana Bencomo

Border residents are no strangers to candidates for public office using our communities as political pawns. People who don’t understand our border communities, especially those who do not live in our border communities — or who have not visited our border — too often exploit fearmongering narratives for the sole purpose of riling up their base without actual substantive policy solutions. Sadly, even candidates from New Mexico fall into this trap.

The reality is that most statewide elected officials are not from our New Mexico border community, and often have a difficult time understanding the complexities we face. It has been my experience that policymakers who do have a desire to understand our communities will advocate for policy decisions only after having consulted with those of us who call the borderlands home. I call on our current candidates to have the courage to do just that.


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